Garmin Fenix 5x & Garmin Explore App with Android

I’ve recently found an app I didn’t know about before called Garmin Explore. It is different from Garmin Connect in that it lets you view a map (a bit like GaiaGPS), your saved waypoints and your activities.

Garmin Explore Offline Maps

You can download offline maps with it, and it seems quite smooth functioning. As with all apps like this, they drain a fair amount of battery when you’re using the GPS.

I’ve encountered a small problem which is that it won’t show any of my past activities prior to installing the app. However, it does show newly created ones.

Garmin MapShare with a Garmin Fenix 5x or Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar Watch

You can also use the mapshare feature (I thought this was only available to inreach customers) to show your activities on a map to friends/family and there’s an option to password it as well. This will only update when you have an internet connection and sync the watch, unlike a Garmin InReach Mini or the like but it’s still pretty awesome.

I am currently trying to figure out how to show previous activities. If I find a way, I will update this post. Certainly check it out if you have a Garmin Fenix 5x, Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar or whatnot :).

Sony a9ii release

The a7 and a9 cameras are starting to become quite a mess in my opinion.

The Sony a9ii doesn’t compete with the a7r IV

The ethernet port, beefed up mount and the extra dial could have been put into the a7r IV. There’s no reason for the pc sync port in 2019 either. This is their “pro” camera and it has to have everything, I get that. The problem is that it has everything only when compared to the Sony a7III — not the Sony a7r IV. If you want a high megapixel landscape camera i.e. if you want 61mp, you buy the Sony a7r IV. At least one camera should include the 61mp sensor, the extra dial, the ethernet port, etc. Otherwise you’re forced into a “do I want the extra features at the cost of the sensor?” dilemma.

There are studio photographers wanting a high MP camera who would benefit from that ethernet port. There are people who photograph houses (like me) who like to switch settings rapidly and they’d benefit from that extra dial.

Sports photographers aren’t the only type of professional photographers in existence either. It’s beyond irritating that I cannot bracket while controlling my camera with my phone for example. Give me a camera with everything; I understand that might sound very firstworldproblem of me, but sports photographers get everything.

Should there be a Sony a9r?

One way to tidy this mess up would be to give the Sony a7r V all of the improved features and sell the Sony a9 cameras as the vanilla Sony a7’s and then make a Sony a10 with a huge grip. Another way would be to continue what they’re doing but sell an a9r for $200 more than the a7r IV (I’m not paying more than that for a measly dial and an ethernet port).

Instead, they have all kind of have unique features and their target audience/purchasing demographic are the confused. Compare that to the Samsung galaxy s10 and the Samsung galaxy note 10, and you can see their intended sales demographic is quite clear: the one with more money gets everything.

Did they play into the lens mount complaints?

What I’m really confused about is why the Sony a9ii is advertised as having an improved / stronger mount for “bigger” lenses…

I’ve looked at the design of the e-mount lenses and they all (from what I’ve observed) have a breakaway point. So if you damage them, some lugs snap off and you replace the mount (it’s cheaper than bending parts and having to replace huge parts of the lens). This isn’t necessarily as good as you might imagine because the lens can still fall further and damage itself more once disconnecting from the mount. I digress… Is the improved mount even necessary, i.e. is it there just to stop people complaining, or are we to infer it is and you shouldn’t mount big lenses on the a7r IV?

It’s beyond me as to why they’re deliberately gimping the a7r IV in this way. The vanilla a7’s I get; this creates separation. But there’s not a high megapixel camera better than the a7r IV, so why not give it everything?

I’m just one person and I’m sure no one cares, but the way I usually react to this is by not giving them my money.